Sailing to Byzantium | Critical Essay by Virginia Pruitt

This literature criticism consists of approximately 19 pages of analysis & critique of Sailing to Byzantium.
This section contains 9,550 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Simon O. Lesser

SOURCE: “‘Sailing to Byzantium’,” in College English, Vol. 28, No. 4, January, 1967, pp. 291-310.

In the following essay, Lesser rejects earlier interpretations of “Sailing to Byzantium,” instead viewing it as a sad poem written by an old man dreading his imminent death.

I

“Sailing to Byzantium” seems to occupy a special place among the several poems by Yeats dealing with the bleakness of old age. In this poem, it appears to be widely believed, Yeats triumphantly confronts and liquidates his fears of aging and death. He does so by virtue of the fact that he—or, more accurately, the “I” of the poem—is a poet and a student of poetry: he discovers that engrossment in poetry is the only...

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This section contains 9,550 words
(approx. 32 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Russell Murphy